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Paris Tip: Embrace the Rain

The weather in Paris can change at the drop of a Schiaparelli hat, so pack your camera and parapluie, Pont Alexandre III, Paris (Photo by Wendy Brack-Fritz)

By Theadora Brack

Ahoy! Calling all Instagram Aficionados: This summertime grid tip is for you. Decked out in fifty shades of pearly grey, the Pont Alexandre III is the perfect backdrop for your photo-op. Rolling across the bridge has never failed to break this siren’s heart.

Designed by architects Joseph Cassien-Bernard and Gaston Cousin, Pont Alexandre III was one of the showstoppers at the 1900 Exposition Universelle—along with other new-fangled marvels like talkie movies, escalators, and mechanical sidewalks.

A picture perfect opportunity still, here the dramatic cloud cover high in the sky is your friend, so why not shake up the scene with a red trench coat or blue parapluie?

Favorite Nymph of the Seine by Georges Récipon, Pont Alexandre III (Photo by Theadora Brack)

Favorite Nymph of the Seine by Georges Récipon, Pont Alexandre III (Photo by Theadora Brack)

Because sometimes in Paris, a little rain must fall

No matter when you’re visiting the City of Light, the weather here can change at the drop of a Schiaparelli red-bottomed shoe-shaped hat. But showers don’t typically last long, so I recommend always packing your camera or camera phone.

Plus, completely agreeing with Gil Pender, the character Owen Wilson plays in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” movie, the city is drop dead gorgeous in the rain. It’s true.

Prior to your trip, study photos by the likes of Germain Krull, Ilse Bing, and Louise Dahl-Wolfe, along with Robert Frank, Brassaï, Robert Capa, and Man Ray, to catch that rainy day feeling. You’d think Paris never had a nice sunny day.

I often spy couples rendezvousing and proposing under the cherubs on the bridge (Photo by Theadora Brack)

I often spy couples rendezvousing and proposing under the cherubs on the bridge (Photo by Theadora Brack)

So why not let it pour?

Soon you’ll be spotting weeping chubby cherubs, tree branches rain glazed into sculptures, umbrellas left open to drip-dry in vestibules, miniature Parisian lap dogs decked out in head-to-tail rain gear, and maybe your own reflections in puddles between wet cobblestones.

“Take the picture! Take the picture!” as Audrey Hepburn might say.

Instant INSPO: Before your trip, study photos by the likes of Germain Krull, Ilse Bing, and Louise Dahl-Wolfe (Photo by Theadora Brack)

Instant INSPO: Before your trip, study photos by the likes of Germain Krull, Ilse Bing, and Louise Dahl-Wolfe (Photo by Theadora Brack)

One more tip

If you need a break from the rain or wind, it’s okay to hang out (and dry out) in a warm cafe with a coffee or a grog in a seat by a window—and keep shooting for hours. Nobody’s going to kick you out. It’s Paris, France, after all.

Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues was also shot on the bridge (Photo by Theadora Brack)

Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues was also shot on the bridge (Photo by Theadora Brack)

Not in Paris?

Don’t fret. Instead, get thee over to your favorite streaming platform, and watch English singer-writer Adele’s 2011 epic weepie “Someone Like You” video. Shot in black and white by director Jake Nava in a swashbuckler Wim Wenders sort of way, you’ll spy a spinning Eiffel Tower, Grand Palais, Invalides, and Place de la Concorde.

For the love of art and history, please don't leave a lock on the bridge.  (Photo by Theadora Brack)

For the love of art and history, please don’t leave a lock on the bridge.  (Photo by Theadora Brack)

Get the look

Aye, Style Mavens! Lux also marks its spot in this earworm of a sea chantey. Adele’s black A-line trench coat with an asymmetrical zip is from Moschino’s 2010 runway collection. Once every blue moon the canvas booty pops up on eBay. Maybe one day I’ll give it the old heave-ho and make the splurge when my Bateaux Mouche comes in.

A lassie can scheme, can’t she?

As Henry Miller penned, “The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass [or trench coat!], it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.” The world in a grain of sand . . . or a drop of rain?

Keep your eyes wide open. And keep on snapping.

Give me a shout-out on Instagram: @theadorabrack

Do you have a favorite bridge in Paris? If so, do spill. Pont Alexandre III (Photo by Theadora Brack)

Do you have a favorite bridge in Paris? If so, do spill. Pont Alexandre III (Photo by Theadora Brack)

Hooked on the Parapluies of Paris, Montmartre (Photo by Theadora Brack)

Hooked on the Parapluies of Paris, Montmartre (Photo by Theadora Brack)

More umbrella and trench coat inspiration, Parapluies Sauvagnat, 1966. (Image: T. Brack’s archives)

More umbrella and trench coat inspiration, Parapluies Sauvagnat, 1966. (Image: T. Brack’s archives)

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29 thoughts on “Paris Tip: Embrace the Rain

  1. Love the photos in this tone … and then … pow … the last one pops! 🙂 … One of these days I will make it to your beautiful city! Thanks for sharing the wonderful photos.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You get some excellent points of view for your photos, T. I know what a parapluie is. 🙂 I’ve been making some progress with my Duolingo app so that when I get back to France in September I’ll know a bit more. We’re been embracing the rain here as well…or perhaps being embraced by it. We’ve had rain, rain and more rain. Our lawn is squishy. 😦 Ah, well, everything is growing like crazy.

    Always good to see you.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Janet! Squishy lawn? Oh, no.

      Are you enjoying the French language lessons on the free app? Do you recommend Duolingo?

      Enjoy preparing for another trip to France. Again, September is the perfect time to visit.

      Theadora

      Like

      • Yes, it’s been quite wet. I think we could see the plants and grass grow if we watch carefully.

        I am enjoying the French lessons and Duolingo just came up with a new version recently and it’s much better now. I think for free, it’s rather quite good.

        I’m very much looking forward to my trip in September.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah yes, Paris in the rain… I’ve seen more art in that mood than any other. And trench coats … Bogart’s trademark, how comfortable it would feel to turn up that collar, and yes, what is with the locks…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah! Humphrey Bogart’s trench coat! I did some digging. Apparently, Burberry created the coat he wore in Casablanca. I love the metal rings in the back. I often spy vintage Burberry garb at the flea market.

      Obsessed!
      Theadora

      (I’m off now to research trench coats and WWI. Thanks for the inspiration.)

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for strolling along with us! And I love your Instagram photos. The feeling is mutual.

      I need to start posting again. Thanks for the push!
      Theadora

      Like

    • Thank you!

      Yes, Georges Récipon’s Nymphs are fantastical.

      The sculptor also worked on the two eye-catching quadrigas, located on the exterior of the nearby Grand Palais.

      They never fail to make me weep—rain or shine.
      Theadora

      Liked by 1 person

    • I completely agree! And speaking of Humphrey Bogart and trench coats:

      “This is what you do on your very first day in Paris,” said a Audrey Hepburn to Humphrey Bogart in Billy Wilder’s 1954 movie, Sabrina.

      “You get yourself some rain, not just a drizzle. But some honest-to-goodness rain! The rain is very important. Because that’s when Paris smells its sweetest. It’s the damp chestnut trees, you see,” she says, before adding, later on that evening, “Never carry an umbrella in Paris! There’s a law.”

      Like

  4. Theadora, dear girl. You bring the magic and pure delight that is Paris back into ones life. There are many “firsts” but no one every forgets their first gnomic thoughts of Paris. And the umbrellas. Oh the wonderful umbrellas of Madeline Gely. My daughter and I spent a glorious time choosing the perfect Paris umbrella. I’m glad we didn’t take Sabrina’s advice! XXXX Virginia

    Like

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